Once again, it is time for postseason DVOA ratings. As always, the following rules apply:
- All 32 teams are ranked, whether they made the playoffs or not.
- Teams are ranked in order of weighted DVOA, not total season DVOA. Since weighted DVOA is meant to lower the strength of older games, these ratings do not include Weeks 1-4, and Weeks 5-10 are somewhat discounted.
- Only weighted DVOA is listed for offense, defense, and special teams. Total DVOA is also listed, but one game doesn't change much in a 17-game sample so these ratings will be similar to those from the end of the season.
- Teams which did not play in the wild-card round are treated as if they had a bye week. (That includes both the 20 non-playoff teams and the four teams with byes.) However, this year for the playoff odds report, we used ratings as of the end of Week 17 for these four teams rather than using the ratings listed below.
The Baltimore Ravens' rating at No. 1 is now really, really, absurdly high. We're up to 55.7%. Both of Baltimore's early-season losses in Weeks 3-4 are now out of the formula entirely. Their close wins in Weeks 5-6 are down to 20% strength. Everything else has a single-game DVOA of 30% or higher. The only weird thing about Baltimore's current ratings is that their weighted special teams rating is 22nd. That's because of one bad game, Week 15 against the Jets. Without that game, their special teams DVOA goes up to 11th in weighted ratings and fifth for the entire season.
The clear outlier among the remaining playoff teams is Houston, way down at 23rd in weighted DVOA. That would be 21st without counting Week 17, when they sat starters against Tennessee, but it's not a huge change. The Texans have three big losses on their resume, with a brutal -83% DVOA for their Week 11 loss to Baltimore. That's even with the opponent adjustments; that game would be -121% without opponent adjustments. They also had big losses to Denver and to Tennessee (with the starters on the bench). Five of their last six wins have been by less than a touchdown. Two of those wins have negative DVOA (Oakland Week 8, 27-24, and Indianapolis Week 12, 20-17) and two others (Weeks 15-16 over Tennessee and Tampa Bay) are very close to zero. The win over Kansas City is now a long time ago. It's still counting a little bit in the weighted DVOA formula, but actually Kansas City (25%) had a higher DVOA than Houston (7%) despite losing 31-24 when these first teams first met. It was one of those strange games where the winning team was less efficient but won by running may more plays than the other team. Houston had 83 plays to 47 for Kansas City, but the Chiefs had 6.6 yards per play compared to 5.7 for Houston. Over the long term, the superior yards per play is more of a positive indicator than running a lot of plays in the game, even if running a lot plays in that game leads to a win.
We'll get to another game like that when we review the single-game DVOA ratings for the wild-card round below.
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To save people some time, we remind everyone to put their angry troll hatred into the official zlionsfan angry troll hatred Mad Libs form:
<team> is clearly ranked <too high/too low> because <reason unrelated to DVOA>. <subjective ranking system> is way better than this. <unrelated team-supporting or -denigrating comment, preferably with poor spelling and/or chat-acceptable spelling>
If you are new to our website, you can read the explanation of how DVOA is figured here. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.
There are no adjustments here for sitting starters in Week 17, although we do adjust the ratings that we use in the playoff odds report.
Teams in yellow are still alive in the playoffs. Teams in gray lost this past weekend.
Here are the single-game DVOA ratings for the first round of the playoffs. The Tennessee Titans end up with a much higher DVOA than the New England Patriots despite a close game, but a lot of that is the effect of the final pick-six. (Throwing a short interception when backed up into your own end zone is very bad.) The surprise here is New Orleans with a much higher DVOA rating than Minnesota. This is another game where the winning team ran more plays but the losing team was more efficient. The Saints had 6.0 yards per play compared to 4.9 for Minnesota, although the Saints did lose the turnover battle. But Minnesota ran 74 plays to just 54 for New Orleans. (That advantage was 65 to 54 in regulation, and then the Saints never saw the ball in overtime.) Minnesota also won with much better third-down efficiency, which doesn't necessarily translate long term but certainly helps win a single game:
|MIN-NO Offensive DVOA by Down, Wild Card|
And of course, New Orleans screwed up their time management, taking 40 seconds off the clock, wasting the two-minute warning, and leaving themselves with a timeout at the end of regulation that they never used.
Here are all the single-game ratings.
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Once again this season, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 20 on a monthly basis. Today, we get to announce the Football Outsiders December players for Madden Ultimate Team on consoles, which will go live at 10:30am Eastern on Sunday. (We chose these players based on play in Weeks 14-17, leaving out December games that were in Week 13.)
- HB Kenyan Drake, ARI: Led all running backs in rushing DYAR in December (69 carries, 400 yards, 7 TD).
- WR Breshad Perriman, TB: Led all wide receivers in receiving DYAR in December (20-for-31, 419 yards, 5 TD).
- TE Noah Fant, DEN: Third among tight ends in receiving DYAR in December (9-for-11, 183 yards, TD).
- C Matt Paradis, CAR: Carolina third in adjusted line yards on runs up the middle, only two blown blocks in December.
- RG Graham Glasgow, DET: Detroit tenth in adjusted line yards on runs up the middle, only one blown block in December.
- ROLB Harold Landry, TEN: Tied for eighth with 12 hurries in December.
- MLB James Burgess, NYJ: Led NFL with 13 defeats in December. Average run tackle for just 1.5 yards, lowest of any MLB.
- CB J.C. Jackson, NE: 4.9 yards per pass in coverage in December according to Sports Info Solutions charting.
- SS Julian Love, NYG: Second in NFL with 9 defeats in December. Average run tackle after just 2.1 yards and allowed just 3.6 yards per pass in coverge.
- SS Eric Reid, CAR: Led all defensive backs with 24 run tackles in December.
- K Randy Bullock, CIN: 10-for-10 in December including six field goals of 44 or more yards.
- P Logan Cooke, JAX: Led NFL with 4.9 points of estimated field position on net punting in December; league-leading 50.1 gross yards per punt.